Waiting to Work

Both yesterday, writing, and today, having posted, I am actually, literally Waiting to Work.

As I had to substitute yesterday, I am sitting at the computer before 8:00 AM (yes, yesterday) trying to think of something to say. And “say” is the operative word. Although MacSpeech Dictate rather strangely hung as the computer started up (and keeps dropping the last letter of each final phrase that I speak right now), after a quick forced quit it is at least listening to me and putting some words into the document that may become today/Thursday’s post. Amazing the problems a system upgrade can create.

Another interesting phenomenon since Snow Leopard is that the computer now puts out the audio not through its own speakers but instead into the single earphone on my little Pantronics dictation microphone. So here I am with Grand Funk Railroad’s “Into the Sun” blaring into my left ear only. The changed audio output is not a problem really, although I need to experiment (at another time because right now I just want to get a post done and go to work) with having a microphone but also sound through the speakers, if I wish, or headphones. I know the microphone and MacSpeech Dictate prefer the relative silence of just my voice rather than having to distinguish what I am saying from (now) Jimi Hendrixʼs “Can You See Me?” but this earphone isnʼt really made for great audio, even to damaged ears like mine. And it just seems strange to have the sound in that one ear alone…

I could be in a better mood than I am with work and therefore pay ahead and a successful completion of a PayPal transaction yesterday (no, not thanks to the PayPal button, still absent from this blog, although I have hopes of adjusting my own CSS to include it once I have time to think of such esoterica, but through PayPalʼs e-mail invoicing system). Christmas is just over the horizon, too, and the winter solstice (which an amusing number of Facebook friends made a huge deal about Tuesday and in the early hours of which we here in Iowa stood no chance of catching the once-in-a-lifetime coincident lunar eclipse) lies just behind us — today is minutes longer than yesterday, and the real today — Thursday — is longer again.* All these are good things. However, for the first time really since retirement, I didnʼt sleep well Tuesday night (and interestingly, neither evidently did a half dozen friends on Facebook, if one trusts their status updates). My mind was for once too restless to roll disconnectedly into slumber. And all my thoughts revolved around computer things and software possibilities, not notions I would prefer to haunt me once the machineʼs shut off. (Ah, the intolerable excitement of new software!**)Perhaps I was also unconsciously concerned about my teaching assignment for Wednesday (which actually makes no sense — itʼs a position I have filled before; I should be more worried about my second sub assignment for the new year ahead, when I will get to teach vocal music all day for the first time in my life).

The lovely eclipsed moon we couldnʼt see in my area, Tuesday morning.

Wednesday was the last day of school for 2010 at Andrew Community School. I am hoping (although by the time the post appears, I will know) that this is (was) a low-key and unexciting day. The late afternoon and evening hours will be (probably really were) intense, as will today, for the time has arrived for final preparations for Christmas (among which domestic efforts, I shamefacedly acknowledge, still remains the wrapping of gifts for The Lovely One, a task I have been intending daily for at least ten days, the problem being that I do such a poor job wrapping gifts, particularly in contrast to her creative skill). Later today/Thursday I shall be cleaning bathrooms (our shower in particular), making up beds, and vacuuming and whatever all else Janet will have indicated on a list for me to accomplish.

And MacSpeech Dictate developed an amusing problem a while back (so I switched briefly to typing again). Having capitalized the title of the Grand Funk song, the software remained stuck in Word Caps mode, and I couldnʼt get it to change except for a single word at a time. But a normal quit and restarting the program seems to have a positive effect. New system, new surprises. Every day.

Oh, well. Time now (both yesterday as I write and today as I need to get going on the household chores) to wrap this up and work.


* Strange that during most of our winter (all of the official season) the days grow longer, even though we remain mired in snow and cold.

** And although I would not like to admit it, software can be exciting, offering interesting and amazing possibilities. Scrivener got me going when I discovered it. Suddenly, writing was exciting again. Ditto for dictation software (a thrill I am attempting to revive). And PDFpen, permitting me to fill out forms distributed by PDF only (drat you, International Thespian Society) in days after typewriters have vanished (I even got rid of the old reliable IBM Selectric I retained in the basement for decades just to fill out forms for ITS and Iowa High School Speech Association). I also fondly recall my first days with System 7 and a whole mess of freebie control panels and extensions. Right now, MacUpdate lured me with a very inexpensive package of ten programs, each of which has its own allure (and about which I may write in days ahead).

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A

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